Royals

It's Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan fever! Fans go wild with excitement during the pair's public walkabout in Wellington

Wow, what a turnout!

By Bronte Chaperon
We sure are a passionate bunch!
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's public walkabout in Wellington was a rousing success, to say the very least.
Thousands of adoring fans showed up to Pukeahu National War Memorial to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess (and baby!) of Sussex on their very first public walkabout in New Zealand - and their only walkabout in our nation's capital.
In fact, the walkabout was such a success - although a little awkward being held at a war memorial site and all - that the handsome pair actually ran overtime. But it was all worth it to see the happy looks on the faces of their adoring public.
Fans have apparently been gifting Harry and Meghan some very Kiwi-centric gifts - including pineapple lumps!
Among the other presents were a soft dog toy, a buzzy bee toy (Prince William was spotted playing with the same toy when on tour with his parents in 1983) and a handmade brooch from a 10-year-old, which Meghan happily accepted and wore.
Altogether now: Awwwwww!
Merenia Donne of Whanganui - one of Next magazine's women of the year winners - works for the Kotuku Foundation for assistance animals and told Now To Love the royals admired her dog.
"Meghan thanked me very much for the kiwi soft toy that I gave her and said she'd look forward to seeing me again because I'll be outside the café tomorrow to say hello.
"She was delightful, very open, Californian and relaxed. They met Nina the dog, but they were more interested in talking to the children."
Very excited fans waited to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Safe to say the walkabout was a success!
Thousands of people showed up to see Harry and Meghan.
In an exclusive chat with Now To Love, Esther King and her daughter Josephine, 12, reveal they traveled from Wainuiomata to present Harry and Meghan with a pounamu and baby shirts that said "Love Wainuiomata".
"They thanked us. It was amazing," says Josephine. "I loved every bit of it. It was 100 per cent worth waiting for five hours."
"We told them how Charles and Diana visited Wainuiomata in 1983, just before Harry was born. They loved the t-shirt and said thank you so much," added Esther.
Esther and Josephine waited five hours to meet the royals!
Similarly, Victoria O'Brien, 15, of Samuel Marsden College was emotional about meeting the royals.
She says: "They're just so incredible and I never in a million years thought I'd meet them and give them flowers. She's [Meghan] so incredible and I just love her so, so much. All the work she does, like with World Vision. She's trying to make a change in the world and she's doing it so well. She's so inspirational. She's my icon. I just want to be her so badly."
Showing her dedication to the royals, Melissa Laterveer, a project manager from Karori, braved the crowds to give Meghan yellow roses - despite feeling a little under the weather.
"I was shaking her hand and I had a terrible cold so I told her to sanitise that. She said, 'Oh, thank you!' I could be spreading anything, but it was just a cold, I promise. She was gorgeous, so humble, stunning, beautiful earrings. She's one of us. She's our new fave."
Harry and Meghan's rousing public walkabout in the Pukeahu National War Memorial might seem a little a random, but it was far from it. Prior to meeting fans the pair lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior.
The memorial's design takes inspiration from the Royal Oak and the Pōhutukawa (New Zealand Christmas tree, for those not enlightened) - New Zealand and the United Kingdom's most iconic trees.
The pair lay a wreath out of respect.
From the wreath laying ceremony and public walkabout, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will head to a reception hosted by the Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy, at Government House. The reception will celebrate 125 years of women's suffrage in New Zealand.